Is Microsoft the New Apple?

For a while, I have been talking about how Apple has not been very innovative in creating devices that creatives can use in their workflow. Sure, Apple makes great products, but unfortunately, Apple simply isn’t focused on building products for creatives anymore. Instead, Apple is focused on building devices for consumer audiences.

Sure, Apple does build a few high-end devices that creatives can use, like the Mac Pro, but aside from a few cosmetic differences and hardware updates, there isn’t much difference between a high-end Apple computer on the market today, and one that was for sale a few years ago. The same also applies to their line of tablet devices. Apple tablets aren’t that much different today than they were when they were first announced. In addition, while the iPad is a fantastic device for consuming content, it’s terrible at creating it, and Apple doesn’t seem to have any plans to change that in the near future.

While Apple hasn’t been focused on creatives for a while, other manufacturers, like Microsoft, are building some exciting new devices that have changed the way creatives can interact with their work. That is why I have been wondering lately, if Microsoft is the new Apple. If Microsoft is as focused on creatives today, as Apple was 10-20 years ago.

Yesterday, Adobe made some pretty big announcements at Adobe MAX, their annual creative conference. As you know, Adobe is pretty much the biggest tech company out there developing products and software that creatives use in their workflow. While in the past, most of Adobe’s big announcements have surrounded their desktop apps, yesterday, the focus was on their new and rebranded mobile apps. In addition, Adobe MAX attendees all received a free Microsoft Surface 3 along with their registration. So why is this a big deal?

For years, creatives have been begging Apple to create a Wacom Cintiq-like mobile device that runs full versions of Adobe products. These products, in theory, would be a fantastic way to draw, sketch, edit, retouch, and work on the go. While Apple has refused to create these products, Microsoft, and other manufacturers, have been working hard on them, and now Adobe has jumped on board to support them.

Part of yesterday’s announcement at Adobe MAX was the addition of several features built specifically for users that use Photoshop and Illustrator on touch sensitive devices like the Surface. With these updates, users can now interact with Photoshop and Illustrator in some exciting new ways.

Check out the video from Adobe, above. It shows what the future of Adobe products may look like on touch sensitive products. I have to say that I’m certainly excited about interacting with Adobe products in this way, although admittedly, I’m not ready to give up my Apple computer just yet. What do you think? Would you want to interact with your work this way? Is Microsoft the new Apple, and would you consider making the switch?

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  • See my review of the Wacom Cintiq Companion.